Why Labelling Things Is Stupid

Why Labelling Things Is Stupid?

  • Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu jitsu?
  • Self Defence or Sport?
  • Helio Gracie or Carlos Gracie Jnr?

For a while now there has been an ongoing debate about many things in Jiu-Jitsu.

FAQ include, who is responsible for creating the art? (History everybody loves History), Is Bjj for Self defence only, is BJJ just sports jiu-jitsu. The list seems to go on and on, our need to put things into categories and boxes seems endless.

In the build up and aftermath of fights or the creation of new business ventures combatants and entrepreneurs with invested interests in their product obviously try to distinguish themselves from the crowd by claiming they invented something first or they practice a different style with a different heritage. This happens all the time in Jiu-Jitsu with the debate between Sports BJJ and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I have constantly heard it suggested that in some ways they are different Arts/Styles, They are definitely different styles yes but Art No.
This need to tag things is probably due in part to the way people market their product in the example above the Gracie’s market themselves as owning the true knowledge when it comes to “Real” Jiu-Jitsu and therefore Self Defence. Because of this the other more sports orientated academies now try to differentiate themselves to protect their brand by avoiding and stigmatizing any thing that could be considered GJJ, We all loose out when this happens!

This process annoys me and a lot of other BJJ/GJJ guys and it should annoy you to, because exploration brings discovery. Discovery gives rise to innovation so for the most part the Gracies should be applauded and congratulated for there contribution to this wonderful style of grappling, but to claim the innovations they have brought in as not being a part of the whole is absurd. It’s all grappling. They should not give what they do so many labels, and make so many claims of effectiveness or ineffectiveness, and create divisions as are convenient to their brand, allegiance, or style. There is no “BJJ” “GJJ” system, there is no Self Defence or Sport divide and finally there is no one person responsible for the creation and evolution of Jiu Jitsu not Helio not Carlos. There’s just the constant evolution of grappling as a whole by all the people who ever train the art in different places practicing different approaches. Anyone who contributes to the knowledge should be thanked.

With that in mind I’ll see you on the mat so we can Discover and innovate.

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